Pumpkin Almond Flour Cookies for Halloween and Thanksgiving are a delightful treat to to celebrate the fall season and holidays. You can keep them natural or make them orange -- and either way, they're super delicious and fun.
Though Halloween Pumpkin Cookies might be more popular, these adorable Pumpkin Almond Flour Cookies are excellent Thanksgiving cookies, too!
Easy and fun to make, they're every bit as delicious as they are cute!
These pumpkin-shaped cookies have a cake-like, soft and chewy texture. The outside bottom is ever so slightly crisp, and the almond on top adds a nice contrasting crunch.
They're a bit more rustic looking without orange coloring. I use just a touch of annatto seed oil (see ingredients below), which gives the cookies a natural orange hue. You can also use orange food coloring if you want to.
(I often suggest brands I love and use — these are only suggestions and this is not a sponsored post.)
- unsalted butter - I always bake with unsalted butter so I can control exactly how much salt is in the recipe.
- powdered (Confectioners) sugar
- 100% pumpkin purée - I've tested this recipe with various brands of 100% pumpkin purée. Libby's is the best one to achieve the right consistency for this cookie batter. (It's a bit thicker than others, and this is a drier dough, so it works the best.)
- pure vanilla extract - I like this one.
- almond flour - Be sure to use almond flour and not almond meal for this recipe.
- ground cinnamon
- ground allspice
- all-purpose flour - This recipe has also been tested with Cup4Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour and it works very well.
- corn starch - This to help absorb some of the moisture. Only a very small amount is used, and only if the batter is too sticky. (See Recipe Tips and Substitutions below.)
- salt - I always bake with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavor without making them taste salty.)
- annatto seed oil or orange food coloring for extra color (optional) -- Annatto seed oil is a natural food coloring. It's not as strong, but will give the cookies an orange hue. Here's how to make it.
- honey roasted almond slices or regular almond slices - The honey roasted slices are a bit sweet which is delicious with the cookie.
- If you can't get your hands on the Honey Roasted Almonds Slices, the regular slices will still be delicious.
- Gluten-free version. Use Cup4Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour. It works well, but the dough will be a bit less dry, so you'll need to add the cornstarch.
- We want the dough for these pumpkin almond flour cookies to be on the dry side. If it's not, it's difficult to shape it into balls. If you're having trouble because it's too sticky, add about 1½ tablespoons of corn starch.
- When you shape the dough, be sure they are totally round, like small golf balls. Do this between the palms of your hands to create a smooth, even surface.
- Do not skip the step of refrigerating the shaped cookie dough. I suggest a minimum of three hours, but the longer the better. This will be helpful when you make faint lines in them, to make them look like pumpkins.
- It's important to insert the pumpkin "stems" (the sliced almond) while the cookies are still quite warm. I love the end slices with the skin still intact because they more closely resemble an actual stem -- however, any almond slice will do.
- You'll use the dull side of a small knife to make several vertical lines around each ball of dough. Be sure to be very gentle when doing this -- only a small amount of pressure is necessary.
- Do not attempt to bake them with the almond slices. They will burn!
- If you're storing them for a couple of days (see below), do not wrap them until they're completely cooled to room temperature.
How to Make Them: Step-by-Step Guide
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- Add the butter and powdered sugar to a large mixing bow. Mix for about 30 seconds or so, until it's a bit lighter and very smooth.
- Add in the pumpkin, vanilla, salt, and spices. Mix until smooth. At this point, you can add a drop or so of annatto seed oil or orange food coloring if desired.
- Fold in the almond flour and all-purpose flour and mix only until it's evenly incorporated. If it seems too sticky to easily roll between your palms, add the corn starch.
- Shape dough into approximately 1½ tablespoon-sized balls. Gently roll each one between the palms of your hands until smooth. Place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan as you go, fairly close together.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until they’re firm, at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the the sheet pan from the refrigerator and use the back of a paring knife to make several vertical lines around each ball of dough, all coming together at the top center.
- Place them on another parchment-lined sheet pan, with at least an inch between each one. (Half will remain on the original sheet pan, so space those out also.)
- Bake until bottoms are slightly golden and the cookies feel dry to the touch, 15 minutes.
- As soon as they come out of the oven, insert a couple sliced almonds in the top center of each pumpkin-shaped cookie to form the "stem." (Try to find slices with the almond skin for the outsides of the stems.)
How to Store Them
While the below methods will be fine, they're best served as close to the time they're baked as possible. They'll loose any crispness from their bottoms once they're stored for a few hours. They'll still be super tasty this way, only softer.
- Room temperature. At room temperature, they can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container for up to three days. (If the almonds aren't too fragile, you can attempt a double layer with a piece of wax paper or parchment in between.) For large amounts, you can store them in a single layer on a sheet pan, wrapped in foil.
- Freezer. Sealed tightly, pumpkin almond cookies can be stored for about a month in the freezer. (Of course they’ll last longer than that frozen, but will taste the best for up to a month.)
And below what they look like with a couple of drops of orange food coloring in the batter.
Other Delicious Fall Pumpkin Desserts
- Healthy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Streusel and Caramel
- Pumpkin Spice Glazed Air Fryer Donut Holes
- Pecan Crusted Caramel Pumpkin Pie
Whether you want Halloween cookies, Thanksgiving cookies, or just a delicious fall treat, I hope you'll try these Pumpkin Almond Flour Cookies . . . . and love them!
Pumpkin Almond Flour Cookies Reicpe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups powdered (Confectioners) sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- a drop of annatto seed oil or orange food coloring (if desired)
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1½ tablespoon corn starch* (if necessary)
- about ⅓ cup Honey Roasted Almond Slices or other almond slices
- Prepare baking sheets. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter with the powdered sugar. Mix for about 30 seconds or so, until it's a bit lighter and very smooth. Add in the pumpkin, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Mix until smooth. At this point, you can add a drop or so of annatto seed oil or orange food coloring if desired. Fold in the almond flour and all-purpose flour and mix only until it's evenly incorporated. If you think the batter is to sticky to easily roll between your palms, add the corn starch.
- Shape the dough. Shape dough into approximately 1½ tablespoon-sized balls. Gently roll each one between the palms of your hands until it's smooth. Place them on one of the prepared baking sheets as you go, fairly close together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until they're firm, at least 3 hours.
- Set the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- "Decorate" the cookies. Remove the the sheet pan from the refrigerator and use the back of a paring knife to make several (about 7) vertical lines around each ball of dough, all coming together at the top center. Add them to the other prepared sheet pan as you go, being sure there's at least an inch between each one. (Half will remain on the original sheet pan, so space those out also.)
- Bake. Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until bottoms are slightly golden and the cookies are dry to the touch, about 15 minutes.
- Add almond slices and cool. Just after you remove the cookies from the oven, and they're still quite warm, insert a few of the sliced almonds to the top of each "pumpkin," where the lines meet, to form the "stem." Try to find slices with the almond skin for the outsides of the stems.
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